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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Dec 14, 2009 1:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

It may not be a question of getting "better" over the years, but HOW they chose to present a particular tune, and EYES is a fine example...IMO, 1977 was the gold standard year. Take a listen to this, a groovy, jazzy, also blazing performance when they devoted at least 13 mins. to the song:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-10-29.sbd.miller.92085.sbeok.flac16

then compare to later eras like the 1980's when the song was basically a 7-8 minute throwaway sandwiched into the middle of a 2nd set in order to fit in a T-Stones or something...Jerry's ABILITY may or may not have been on par with '77, but the presentation of the song was lacking for sure....because later in the 1990-91 era they returned EYES to its long-jazz-format ith excellent results, as exemplified here:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd91-03-31.sbd.perkins.9451.sbeok.shnf

Did Jerry go from a great guitarist in '77 to a mediocre one in 1985 and back to great again in '91? Maybe...but I think it was more of a question of effort and choice and style than one of talent pegged to a certain era.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 14, 2009 1:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

I can defn see that being "improvable" over time! Good point, GC; in theory, you could decide to do any number of things in terms of "arrangement" better as you became a better "judge" over the years...this I think would improve with time.

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Poster: snori Date: Dec 14, 2009 1:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

I'm surprised noone has mentioned JGB. Late 80s and early 90s feature some beautiful playing.It's not all about speed either, years of experience count for a lot, and may have helped him get around problems like RSI. Experience also shows in the use of tone, sustain, echo etc. Uf you need to be convinced listen to his playing in songs like 'I shall be released ' from that period. (Sorry I don't have any links).

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 14, 2009 2:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

Thanks snori; yep, I always neglect JGB efforts, and I do appreciate the notion that a player that was "low intensity" (in terms of life style), and I am not sure BBKing fits this but always think of him as an example, could get better with age...just dunno. When Kottke was explaining to the crowd why he couldn't do what he used to do, it sorta made me think of guitar players more as athletes if you follow (ie, wear and tear would affect them in the same way).

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Dec 14, 2009 4:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

I don't think we can get a true answer to this question because of the changing levels of interest and talent of his band mates through the different era's.His technical chops and knowledge might have grown in the 80's,but pair that with a bored Phil,cheesy keyboards and a less than stellar set list,how do you compare that to the 60's or early to mid 70's version of the band that on a given night could be brilliant.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Dec 14, 2009 4:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Garcia's mad skills

Good pt; that's another aspect that is tough to evaluate...may be why he was happier (it seems) to work with others in solo efforts (ie, he, and the other DEAD members, were getting bored/etc with the band, and so forth).